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General Safety Policies

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Ladders

Jewelry

Power Cords & Surge Protectors

Office Safety

Lifting & Moving

Fire Safety

Environmental Illnesses


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is available for all employees. Additionally some jobs will require appropriate PPE. Any employee may request or use PPE for a job, even if it is not required. Blinn College will have available for use the following:

  • Hard hats
  • Eye protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Gloves (work and latex/nitrile)
  • Fall Protection
  • Respiratory protection (non-fit tested)

Other items will be available or obtain

Ladders

Ladders are routinely used in many jobs. Ladders are also involved in numerous accidents. The ladder procedure specifically outlines proper usage. Some of the general rules are:

  • Choose the right ladder for the job
  • If you must reach more than an arm’s length, move or get another ladder
  • Never use the top rung as a step
  • Keep one hand on the ladder when climbing up or down
  • Face the ladder when climbing up or down
  • Never use a chair or makeshift item as a ladder

 

Jewelry

We recognize that many individuals wear jewelry for a variety of reasons. However, jewelry can be the source of many different types of injury. Rings are especially dangerous as they or often involved in crushing or de-gloving incidents of the finger that can result in severe injury and possible amputation. General guidelines for wearing jewelry are, (but not limited to) :

  • Do not wear rings while climbing, working off elevated devices or platforms, or potential pinch/crushing activities.
  • Do not wear or allow jewelry to hang (such as necklaces) especially around rotating equipment or where these items can be caught. Tuck inside clothing or remove.
  • Do not wear jewelry when working on electrically energized equipment or parts
  • Watches and bracelets should fit snugly to the wrist and it is recommended they have a quick release mechanism.
  • Do not wear any looped or hanging items that are a pierced attachment such as earrings or facial piercings .

Power Cords & Surge Protectors

With so many electrical devices being used today, there never seems to be enough electrical outlets. There are many devices available to help provide needed outlets. However, many come with dangers. It is common to have extension cords with multiple outlets or small adapters that can have several outlets that can be plugged into an existing out let. Beware, these can easily be a source of tripping breakers or starting fires. Many of these devices are not rated for products that may use a lot of power. The wire is thin, they are not equipped with circuit or surge protection, and can easily overload a wall plug.

The following guides will help in meeting electrical demands:

  • Use UL approved power strips with breakers and surge protection.
  • When using extension cord, make sure the cord is rated for the amount of power that it will be supporting.
  • Multiple outlet plug in (as pictured above) are not allowed in resident halls.
  • Thin wired “lamp” extension cords with multiple outlets are not allowed in resident halls. Use a heavy gage extension cord.
  • Do not plug one power strip into another.
  • Never overload plug.

Office Safety

Office safety is just as important as safety on a construction site. Many injuries and illnesses occur each year simply because office workers often overlook hazards or fail to realize that many hazards exist. The office is not a non-hazardous environment.
The number one cause of office injury is trips and falls. Power cords, cables, and open drawers are often the culprit. These are preventable. The two best methods for preventing these hazards are to:

  • Eliminate the hazard by making sure cords and cables are not in walkways and work activity areas.
  • Be Alert. As simple as it sounds, watch where you walk and work. Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Look for and clean up spills.
  • Don’t read, walk, or text while walking.

File cabinets not only cause trip hazards, but can cause serious injury if not used properly. Overloading top drawers and fully extending these drawers can lead to the file cabinet itself falling. This can hit, or trap individuals. Close drawer before opening others. Watch were your place to hands and fingers to avoid pinching or crushing injuries.

General safety tips include:

  • Assure you have proper lighting.
  • Make sure you operate office machinery correctly and per manufactures procedures.
  • Never remove or disable protective guards or devices.
  • Make sure you know where a fire extinguisher is located and how to use it.
  • Take care with use and storage of sharp and pointed items.
  • Report all incidents, near misses, and safety concerns.

 

Lifting & Moving

Using correct techniques for lifting and moving are extremely important for avoiding injury. Incorrect techniques can lead to falls, strains, strains, other complications. The following guides should always be used when lifting and moving.

  • Bend with your knees, not at waist.
  • Keep items close to your body
  • Check the weight, and if too heavy, get help
  • Do not twist or bend
  • Avoid lifting items higher than your head
  • Never carry an object that obstructs you view

 

Fire Safety

Fires happen. Most are preventable. By taking the time to make sure our environment is free from fire hazards, we can proactively help prevent fires. There are many simple steps that can be taken to help accomplish this. Some of the more common include:

  • Keeping work areas clean.
  • Not overloading electrical outlets.
  • Do not store flammables near heat sources.
  • Properly using space heaters (where allowed).
  • Properly using candles (where allowed).
  • Know where fire extinguishers are located and how to use them.
  • Know more than one way to get out.

Additionally, respond to all alarms. Never assume an alarm or evacuation notice is just a drill. Likewise always respond to drills. This is how systems are tested. The habits we form in training are the habits we will use in an emergency.

 

Environmental Illnesses

Extreme temperatures and weather conditions are not uncommon in our area. Each has unique exposure potential and problems. A summary of the most common problems for each environment is listed below.

Heat Exposures

Heat Cramps – During periods of exercise or work, muscles may cramp because sweating causes the body to loose water, salt, and electrolytes. Best treatment is prevention. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before and during exercise or work. Some find various sports drinks to be of benefit.

Heat Exhaustion

Typically will occur when an individual does not drink enough fluids to replace what has been lost during activity. Weakness, dizziness, and disorientation are common side effects. The best treatment is prevention, as with heat cramps. Additionally, make sure individual is taken to a shady or cool place, have then drink water and rest.
Heat Stoke – Occurs when then body can no longer regulate temperature.  This is a medical emergency.  Lack of sweat, high body temperature, confusion, are common symptoms. Best treatment is to call 911. Then immediately move to a cool place. Remove unnecessary clothing and cool the person by fanning and wiping skin with cool water.  Ice packs may be placed under arms, at neck, and groin. DO not immerse the person in an ice bath.

Cold Exposures

Hypothermia – Prolonged exposure to cold can result in a individual loosing heat faster than the body can produce it. Even cool temperatures, such as the fifty to sixty degree Fahrenheit range can cause hypothermia if conditions are right. Exposure to rain, submersion in water, or failure to wear warm clothing can contribute to this condition. Shivering, confusion, and drowsiness are common signs. The best treatment is prevention. Dress warmly and in layers when in cool and cold temperatures. Stay dry, and immediately seek warmth and shelter is symptoms start to present themselves. If symptoms are severe, seek immediate medical attention.

Frostbite

When exposed to very cold temperatures, the skin may freeze. Typically, the nose, ears, hands, or feet are the effected parts. Frostbite can cause severe damage and great care should be taken to avoid this condition. The best treatment is prevention. Keep exposed skin covered. If you suspect frostbite, get indoors. Wrap affected area in warm blanket. Never rub the affected area and never use direct heat, heating pads or other high heat emitting devices. If there is sustained numbness, pain or blisters, seek medical attention.